Dolemite Is My Name is the 2019 biopic about Rudy Ray Moore, the comedian, singer, actor, and film producer who has often been given the nickname the “godfather of rap.” We’ll chat with Mark Jason Murray, who was the Research Consultant on the film and author of Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself: The Authorized Biography Of Rudy Ray Moore Aka Dolemite.
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Dan LeFebvre 2:22
Since filmmakers always need to change things around in order to fit years of someone’s life into just a couple hours, if you were to take a step back and give the movie and overall letter grade for historical accuracy, what would it get?
Mark Jason Murray 2:37
That’s really something that’s kind of hard to do, because it’s not a documentary. Now, people have to remember that. Even on my own accounts, I’ll admit that having worked on Rudy story for 30 years, I was very detail oriented in all of my research, and it was very hard for me to let go of those details. When they had finished their script, Scott and Larry, who wrote the film, went down and sat in their office and they let me read, read the script. And I remember specifically, we sat down on their couch and you know, what did you think and, and one of the first things that I said was, you know, you got Rudy, referencing Deep Throat here, but deep throat was in 1972 yet eat out more often the album that he recorded was in 1970. And, you know, I was even guilty of the, you know, being so detail ingrained in the details that they basically sat, you know, kind of sat me down and then said, you know, Mark, you know, we have a lot of stuff to go through in this movie, you know, we have to we’re trying to give it a point of reference, etc, etc. And, you know, that was a good I got talked down off the ledge a little bit there by Scott and Larry. But as far as a letter grade is concerned, honestly, I don’t really know how to answer that. It I think it makes that too definitive of a of a grade, we’ll say, you know, you do have quite a bit of material and people to introduce, in that that two hour film. You know, and, and, you know, the average film runs an hour and a half, yet we get, you know, two hours worth of Rudy story. The film itself, if I were to put it in, in a timeframe would be late 1969 through the mid 1975. After the film dole in my head, it’s theatrical, full theatrical national release. Originally, when I saw Edward heard that Scott Alexander and Larry Curzio ski wrote for Tim Burton, as they believe that was 1996. I was a big fan of Edward still am. Had a lot of knowledge of him and his work at that time. So when I saw that film, I was like I understood what they were doing. There’s there were certain things in that movie where you have Bill Murray’s character of John Breckinridge, who is in the entire film, as part of Edwards crew. But yeah, in reality, he only showed up for the filming of plan Nine from Outer Space, because I think he was a roommate of somebody and they just needed somebody to play that part. So I started to kind of understand the way that they they functioned when they were writing. Another perfect example is when they did people vs. Larry Flynt, which is another spectacular film. In their commentary for the movie, I believe it’s Larry that mentions that Edward Norton is really just a combination of multiple lawyers that Larry Flynt had, you’re not going to spend half of a movie introducing a brand new lawyer every time Larry goes to court, you know, so there, there has to be some of these things that that, you know, I’ll say are stretched for entertainment purposes. Some of the things that are inaccurate in dolomite is my name. I really think that Scott and Larry brilliantly brought those things together. If I could point out maybe, you know, one specific thing that I that I just I love in the movie is when the crew meets Doraville, Martin. In the film, they they come across him in a strip club. And the reality is that Jerry Jones already knew Doraville, Martin, and had brought Doraville in as director, because Durval had yet to direct a film. So Durval saw this as an opportunity to direct something. But Rudy was smart enough to know that Derval already had some type of marquee name, having appeared in movies with Fred Williamson and Pam Greer. So Rudy said, you can direct but I also want you to co star in this with me.
Mark Jason Murray 7:33
But that’s not as exciting as coming across Doraville in a strip club. You know, and, and having Wesley Snipes, do you know that incredible impersonation, or however you want to put it of, you know, the personality that he brings to dervishes character? Wesley was kind of the, the unknown gem of the film. When you see it, you know, I was actually a little bit. Again, I’m so detail oriented in the first time I saw it, it was like, just Whoa, you know, this is not the durable Martin that I would have expected. You know, I never was able to speak with him. He died early on. So he wasn’t, of course available for for my book. But that performance that he gives is, is just brilliant. And I think a lot of the reviews that people almost say that he kind of almost stole the movie.
Dan LeFebvre 8:38
You mentioned the the dates there. And I wanted to ask you about that. Because at the beginning of the movie, we see Rudy working at a record shop called dolphins, and he kind of seems to be disappointed with how his life is going. The impression that I got was he’s pretty much just paying the bills, and he can’t really he’s not really achieving what he wants. So we don’t really get a lot of backstory to Rudy up until the timeline of the movie, which I believe is what you just said, like starting in maybe 1969. Can you give us an overview of his life up until the timeline of the film?
Mark Jason Murray 9:10
Well, Rudy’s entire life was performing, I guess you could say since the time he was 15. I mean, he had even sang and read poetry in church when he was a child. But he went to Cleveland when he was 15 and entered a talent show. And that was kind of like where the book started. And further the rest of his life. He was an entertainer. He had done anything for you know, some of his early things were were little scams I guess you could say like he would do fortune telling you know to do they would do tea leaf tellings where they would put the tea leaves in the in the tea and then they pour out the water and however the the formation of the leaf stuck on the cup would be how they would determine what your fortune was. You know One of the he usually, he admitted, and we discussed this in the book that usually knew the people that he was telling the fortunes on or they weren’t aware. But so he, you know, had insider information that he was giving them that that, you know, work worked in his favor. He was some sort of a dancer, Rudy always like to embellish his greatness. He sometimes he was his greatest PR agent. He would do what he called Adagio dancing. And they mentioned that in dolomite as my name, or he would just do these kind of wild African dances, I don’t believe that they really had anything that we could remotely consider rhythm. They were more just like these wild shoulder shaking, head shaking dances that he would do with sometimes with another with a female. Rudy was known for standing on his head and doing a split in a chair or something like that. He was always doing something that was, I guess you could say, outrageous. He tried his hand at singing. In the in the 50s. And 60s, they mentioned that, of course, in the film. He had already recorded a couple comedy albums, by the time dolomite as my name starts, but at the time that that the movie does take place, when it does start, his career was was dead. It was completely stagnant. He had not had any kind of releases in a few years. I think by that point, she hadn’t had a mobile 45. And about five years. His he hadn’t had a comedy release, I think, since 66. And that was a dud. So he really was down and out. He did have his his, you know, hosting, he was pretty much a host at the California club. But he he wasn’t really doing doing anything. So as far as his mindset at that time, he was feeling forgotten. He was feeling like his his career was over. And, you know, it’s true. Like, is this where I’m at? Am I just a manager of a record store? Now? The movie does
Dan LeFebvre 12:21
kind of hint at some of that. I think it was a conversation with his aunt that she mentioned, you know, yeah, that’s the singer, the fortune teller all these different things that that he’s tried. So I got the impression that his life up until that point was very colorful. Yeah, he did a lot of different things. And was, was he bouncing around between those different things because he wasn’t really happy with just one of them? Or did he really just enjoy all of them and just wanting to simply perform for others didn’t almost didn’t really matter how he was performing. He just loved to perform.
Mark Jason Murray 12:54
I guess if you break Rudy down, his ultimate goal was to be a star. He thought he was a star already wanted to be a star. However, that might have come about whichever avenue that took off, was the one that he pursued, he would have preferred to have been a singer, being a singer was his, I guess you could say his great performance love. broody wasn’t, I guess you could say that great of a singer, you know, he wasn’t up there with, you know, Little Richard and James Brown. And, and but I do truly believe that Rudy’s vocal material does have some some value. And he was he was kind of he was at the right place at the right time. And he would mentioned to me that, you know, in kind of a, you know, in sadness that he felt like he was he was, he was there when he needed to be and he believed that he had the formula that he needed to break through. And I will say that Rudy isn’t necessarily original. He’s not very original, so to speak, and I’ll and I’ll use that. And not not a not detrimentally. But you know, when he saw a trend happening, then he won’t he would follow that trend. You know, we can use I think some of the examples I use in the book is, you know, Little Richard has a song and then Rudy does one like, you know, Robbie Dobby. And so he just kind of, he kind of plays off of what’s popular at that time. And when you when you put him in, in chronology of when his vocal recording started. His first one came in in I believe it was January of 1956. He was on federal records, which also had signed James Brown. And I believe if myth memory is correct, and I don’t want to be the guy that just says you know, I think I say it in the book. But of course, all of this and more More is in the book. But chronologically by catalog number, I believe James Brown’s first single was the one just prior to Rudy’s first single. So he was right there at kind of the birth of this to a degree, and he just he just couldn’t, couldn’t make it hit. But he was always constantly trying to make something happen. He sort of fell into doing the comedy. When he was in the military. And he worked. He was in a special forces unit that were just going around and entertaining servicemen through Germany, and such. And one time, there was an actor that was late coming on stage, and someone from the crowd yell, you know, tell a joke. And Rudy was familiar with a woman named Caledonia Young, who had done comedy. And she, I guess she was a contortionist and other things. And famous in that, that Cleveland area. So Rudy told a joke that he had known from her material. And he said, he, it went over really well. And so that kind of planted the bug for him to start doing comedy. He sort of would, would put that in his act a little bit here and there, you know, break up the just wasn’t just singing a song after a song. And, and, you know, I mean, back in those days, they had what you guys you would call floor shows, you wouldn’t have what we have today, where, you know, an artist comes out and plays their hour set, and that’s the end of their, the end of their, their gig. Many of these were in clubs, where they would have three or four shows a night, you know, you might have a eight o’clock and a nine o’clock and a 10 o’clock and sometimes these will go until, you know, one or 2am Usually the set would be about 15 minutes. So, so sometimes Rudy as a host, like at the California club would come out and do a little bit of his stuff, and then he introduced the next act, and then maybe an hour later, he come back on. So he would use the comedy within that. It wasn’t until 1961 that he did his first comedy album, which was released on do toe records, which at the time, had all of red foxes material and is very mild. You know, I guess we could say it was risky for the time, it had double entendre type of material, you know, where you would call a cataplexy or, or things like that.
Mark Jason Murray 17:43
But nothing too explicit. And he did a couple more couple that he actually released on his own. One was called the beatnik seen that he did in 62. Which, which I kind of note that it was probably outdated before the record even hit the shelves, you know, beat neck material. I mean, it was you know, most people if ever think of beatniks I guess they think of me energy cribs from the Dobie Gillis TV show, you know that that was on in the 60s. But, I mean, he just he, he, What actually had happened was that he as the movie shows of Rico, the Wine Oh, did did come into the store. And as Rudy would make the comment, he put the touch on me, meaning that he was begging for money. And Rudy would give him a quarter or two. And Rico would tell these tales. And that did inspire Rudy to do that. And and what actually happened and they show this in the film as he did go and record some of them. But Rudy was also he wanted to take things to a different level. So, but he was he was nervous. You know, there were there were artists and record companies who had been in some legal trouble for risque material. And, you know, Lenny Bruce had been arrested for things that he said on stage. George Carlin had, you know, and within a couple years of Rudy’s eat out more often had been arrested. So so there was some fear of, you know, potential legal issues. But Jimmy Lynch had an album that was selling really well at dolphins. And the punch line on the record. I mean, the whole record is is is risque, but it didn’t until the very end. There’s a joke about a guy who’s essentially just having sex with a gorilla and the gorilla has a mug The line, and the big punch line, the build up is something to the effect of that he’s enjoying it. So he says, you know, take the muzzle off the motherfucker, I’m gonna kiss it. And that was selling really well at dolphins. So that piqued Rudy’s curiosity. And so he went and met Jimmy Lynch, I believe it was in Detroit. And when he got there, and he, you know, he asked, Jimmy, you know, have you had any issues with this? And Jimmy said, you know, no, and, and Rudy’s? You know, I’m a comedian, you know, I’m a singer, and I’m looking for some new material. And I think this is a direction that I want to go. And, you know, Jimmy just said, Well, you know, go along with it. And so, but Rudy didn’t want to just throw in one F word, and he wanted to take it all the way as far as he could. And, you know, they show that in the film, where he, he can’t really get anybody to support his, his album. And when he recorded that it was recorded in his apartment, you know, similar to what the, the movie shows, they give a good nod in that scene, when they kind of unveil Rudy after the little introduction, and he has a turban on because when he would sing in the 50s, he would wear a turban, and he called himself Prince dumar. So that gives a good reference to that, you know, old period, before when he was being trained to be a singer. You know, and there’s a lot of little little details in dolomite as my name that I’m very impressed by, for example, when they go to record, that album, you kind of see them walking up some stairs going to the apartment, and at that time, whether it was intentional or not, but Rudy did live on a second floor apartment, he had a big apartment upstairs above a restaurant, I believe it was, and he was renting rooms to Ben Taylor, and T Tony. And some other comedians would come and go, that he had produced albums for, but I guess it had this kind of like big open living room space. And that’s where, where he would set up and, and recorded that there was not a live band performing, you know, in the background for that. They, he went and recorded that music after the fact, to mix it in.
Mark Jason Murray 22:38
But, you know, one thing that that is very impressive to me about that album, and what he he got. And what he built out of that and continue to have success for for a few years, was it was very, it was very planned out. You know, and, and, you know, to, I guess to take a peek behind the curtain, it has the appeal that it was recorded in a live club. It has the, there’s, it feels like it’s, there’s spontaneity to it. But in all actuality, it was a pre planned thing. Rudy did have a party for his friends, he vodka and orange juice and, and, you know, we were having a party. So and in one way, it truly is a party record, like they actually had a party when they recorded it. And, but they knew what they wanted. And at certain points, they would kind of point to, you know, everybody needs a laugh. And you know, not that they’re holding up a sign that says applause or anything, but if something similar to that, where they were, were making it do what it needed to do. And although the film shows him performing it live, he never actually had performed that material live. But that does give a really great it is really great moment where you can see people kind of go wait a minute, you know, what is this? And and I think that’s what people were doing when they heard those albums. And it was kind of funny because I actually was down on set for the film. When they were shooting those early scenes at the very beginning of the movie when he’s in dolphins and, and, and there was lunchtime or something and I was sitting there with Larry one of the screenwriters. And I hadn’t mentioned that I was I was kind of planning on making a like a YouTube video because I have all the the individual track breakdowns of a lot of those albums. So I have, you know, just the, the crowd response and before it’s all mixed together, so I can hear, I can hear everybody’s little bits as they needed and I had made a comment that I wanted to kind of take take that and make a video where you have, you know, Rudy starting to do his material, and then the music kind of fades into it. And then you had to have the crowd fade into it. So you can see like the, you know, all those pieces melting together to make the final product. And, and Larry just looked at me, so why we did that in the movie, you know. And that’s that’s kind of that scene where, where he goes up on stage and starts to do the signifying monkey. And then Ben Taylor shows up and starts to add a little piano to it. And you know, and it was the same thing. So it was like we were on the same wavelength, you know, in a certain way, to kind of show how that all came together.
Dan LeFebvre 25:38
Which, of course, in a movie, yeah, that’s, that’s a great way to do that to visually see that as opposed to, I mean, it’d be more difficult to do that in a movie where you were like, on an actual album, where the person that’s listening to it is not there while it’s being recorded. So when in a live setting, you kind of see all that at the same time. And people’s reaction to it, like you were saying, in that way, make it sounds like not necessarily how it happened. But great, a great way to show that.
Mark Jason Murray 26:06
I think if anybody was going to be overly critical about dolomite dolomite is my name, it would have been me. It actually took me several viewings to just let it go a little bit. I mean, again, I’ve lived with this for for almost 30 years. And so not that I did not enjoy it when I first saw it. And to be honest with you, I actually cried. You know, I had a private screening at Netflix before the movie came out, which was a really cool experience. And I just kind of sat there and there was a couple scenes where I just I just started crying because it was, it was on my own side, it was this was a personal journey that I always wanted to see fulfilled. And not that it happened to because of me. This was kind of like the culmination of, of all of the things that I’ve been trying to get going. And in all the promotion that I’ve done for Rudy over the years, even actors asking, and I just imagined, like, you know, how he would have felt, seeing, seeing this, you know, and it was hard not to get choked up, about, about all of this happening.
Dan LeFebvre 27:25
You mentioned a few things in there, I wanted to touch on one being like the Ricoh and, and the telling the stories and really recording it. And then, you know, going back and turning him in the movie, it looks like he’s taking these stories and kind of old jokes, including signifying monkey and, and Dolomites and things that seem to the impression I got from the movie, at least were there beforehand, but he then he kind of takes it and makes it his own. And then we do see that the first time that he brings the Dolomite character out, you know, he’s he’s wearing a tux and a wig. And he just immediately catches the attention. What was what did he perform it live at all was like the first time that people saw this, what was the reaction?
Mark Jason Murray 28:12
Well, it wasn’t until people heard the records that they started calling him to come out and perform those those pieces. So at that point, when when it became such a huge success, you know, that will became the core of his of his material. And that album eat out more often, that they show it as fairly accurate to where they’re, you know, stamping it with a hand stamp and in his living room and assembling the records. Was was essentially what Rudy did, he only had a few $100 to, to press up. I estimate probably 3000 copies that he pressed up, they were actually blank sleeves, and he had a rubber stamp for everything. When was that little devil logo, which you know, as they say, you know why the devil logo? Well, I want these things to look illegal, like you’re not supposed to have it which which to to Rudy’s credit like that was a huge selling point. And, and, and, you know, all of these were just hand stamped on the cover, and he did sell them while he was in dolphins were under the counter and any other place locally, they had them they were they were under the counter Rudy was concerned, again, that he could get busted for this. But some of the chronology in the film is a little bit different that he had already released his own version. When he took it to laugh records. And his what happened was laugh wanted to give him I don’t know $1,700 or $2,000 or something, something small like that. And they wanted to put Johnny Otis his name on here because they were working with Johnny Otis, who’s a famous singer bandleader. You know, he did the song the hand jive and Johnny Otis is a real The fascinating figure if you want to go back and look at someone from that time period, but he was kind of having these, I guess you could say showcases that were being recorded and released on laugh records. You know, Johnny Otis presents skillet Leroy and things of that nature. So they wanted to throw Johnny Otis, his name on Rudy’s album as well. And really, just like, why would I? Why would I sell you my record for two grand or $1,700, or whatever it was, when I already have orders for like 1000 records from another distributor down the street. And Rudy was Act was really in tune with the music industry, at least in Los Angeles at that time, much different than than the way things were, even in the 80s. And of course, now, but because he worked at dolphins, he knew all the record distributors in the area, he knew where to go, you know, adult John dolphin had his own record labels. So Rudy knew everything that John would do, where he would get records, records pressed, where he get the labels made, where you take them to, you know, the distributors that he would pick up records from and drop off records from. So he already he already had all those details. So he was he was very well informed. And it wasn’t super difficult for him to, to get that record around, locally. But he realized that, you know, if you’re offering me $1,700, or whatever it was that it’s got to be worth a lot more than that. And he really claimed that he felt like he had a hit within 20 minutes. Because he did play it in the store in dolphins. And he said that, within 20 minutes, he had 10 people coming in saying whose record you’re playing, I want to, I want a copy of that. And he was smart enough to realize, like, I I’m onto something. And kind of going back to your your comment, a lot of these were pre existing stories. And they can go back, if you take the signifying monkey, there’s a book written, it goes back something like 500 years, the origin of that story. And most of these were were tall tales, and brags that were primarily told, you know, on street corners, and barber shops in jail, you know, guys would be out, you know, playing Dyson in both. And it was just in some ways, you could say it was a rite of passage. It was just a way for guys to kill time. And when
Mark Jason Murray 32:35
the the, he was encouraged to embellish on these, these stories, so kind of the best storyteller would be like the cool guy of the group. So if if you weren’t the best at telling it, you know, it, you wouldn’t be the one who they’d be like, nudging saying, dude, you know, hey, hey, tell, you know, tell tell, pull, shoot monkey, you know. And so there were a lot of these, and some of them had been documented in believing the 60s by a couple of professors. And there are a few books about them. And there had already been a couple instances where these tales had been recorded. And actually, this takes us back to Johnny Otis, he had a group called What were they called? snatching the Poon tangs, which was a kind of a, a, you could say, a proto funk band that did a version of shine in the great Titanic, in some other tales on there more as musical numbers. And so this wasn’t completely unknown material, especially within the black community. You know, culturally, there were a lot of people that that, of course, had maybe heard their uncles or their fathers or, or people in the neighborhood telling a lot of these these stories. So one of the things that I that I attribute to part of the success of those is the, there’s sort of a familiarity to them. You know, the these are, these are tales that people grew up with, that people may have even recited to others. You know, and and if we go back and we look at it, Rudy was the first one. Well, he wasn’t the first one to commercialize it, but he was the first one to be successful. I believe that commercializing it, you know, like I said, that’s an action that poontang album had a couple of those, those tracks on there, which came out in 69, I believe it was, which predates Rudy’s album, you know, more often by a year, or technically, probably just a couple of months. But, you know, we have to remember that records came out so quickly back then, and when Rudy knew he had that success, just like it shows in the movie, he hooks up with camera. records. But can’t records wasn’t unknown to him, Rudy had already had his 1962 beatnik scene album was on Kent records, he had a couple of vocal 40 fives, not a lot of material from Kent. But they already knew him. And when they saw that he was making him he was selling all these records locally, that’s when they they brokered a deal with him. And pretty much just said, do whatever you want, we’ll release it. And they gave him interestingly, they gave him like the California distribution. So he had his own label, his comedian international label, and then Kent would distribute it nationally. And so if you, if you get real deep into collecting Rudy’s material, you will, you’ll find the majority of those comedy albums, there’s a version it’s on comedian International and then went on can’t, although they’re, they’re identical in, in material and almost in their artwork. You know, usually it’s just a transposition of of a logo between which one and and generally speaking, if you have those that are on comedian, you’re going to have a more rare version because those weren’t pressed in, you know, nationally distributed numbers.
Dan LeFebvre 36:23
There is a person in the movie that we haven’t talked about yet. And it’s a woman named Lady read, she goes by this stage name queen bee. And she opens for dolomite in a lot of shows, but we don’t get a lot of information about kind of who she was similar to, I guess the way they did it for Rudy, you know, they don’t show a lot of backstory for some of these characters. Can you fill in her story and how she got associated with Rudy.
Mark Jason Murray 36:46
Unfortunately, there’s not really a lot known about her name is Nancy, Nancy read. And she had passed before I really got into working on this book. I mean, my introduction to Rudy was when I was 17 years old, in 1991, a couple years after that, I was able to make contact with him. And then in 2001, I basically said, Rudy, I’m writing a book about you. And that’s when it, you know, officially started from there. But you know, she had already passed, Rudy, often, if he was, you know, if he felt hurt by something, you know, if he, if there was a lot of emotion involved in things, he it would be very hard for him to, to, you know, open up. And I remember, he had told me once that, that after, you know, we’ll just call it lady read after lady read it passed, I believe he wasn’t even notified by the family, or invited to, to her funeral. And, and so that hurt him so much, because they were incredible friends. And so it was always very hard for me to get full details about her. And, and even those who were in that that group, often didn’t really have a lot of background about her. So it’s kind of the majority of what you see in the movie where she talks about, you know, being a background singer in New Orleans, and, you know, having a young son, you know, that’s relatively like the majority of what was known, or what I was able to find out about her, I believe she had come to California for some type of inheritance. And the way that they actually had met was, she was kind of hanging out with other friends, and would show up at Rudy’s gigs. And she was kind of interested in what he was doing. And then they became friends. And so he produced a couple of albums for her. She wrote a piece called my day has arrived, that he that he recorded. And but they were, they were really close friends. And, you know, it’s a shame that, you know, I wasn’t able to uncover more about her. You know, I mean, she gets she gets her do she’s in the movie. And, you know, she was a, an integral part of, of that crew that Rudy had.
Dan LeFebvre 39:11
The next major plot point, we do see her with Rudy and Jamie and Ben, and they’re going to see a movie a comedy called the front page. And throughout the whole thing, it’s kind of funny, everybody’s laughing. And these four friends are just like, they’re just, they don’t find it funny. It’s not funny at all. But Rudy is very intrigued because he gets the idea that movies will let him be everywhere all at once, and there is no need for touring. But he can’t convince the studio to make movies. So just like he did with the comedy album, he decides he’s gonna put up the money himself. He figures $70,000 is what he can get. And what’s made plus the record company kind of send some money as well. How well did the movie do? Portraying Rudy? Basically taking the reins to make his own movie
Mark Jason Murray 40:00
But again, they, you know, I’m gonna just keep gushing about the film. I mean, I tried truly I just love the movie and in any way that they, you know, modified things, you know, I think was brilliant, you know, the idea that they went to this theater and saw this just, I mean, the whitest of white movie they probably could have, could have went and saw. You know, and I just I love those reactions when it comes to this book, you know, it wasn’t titties or Kung Fu, or, like, this movie sucked.
Dan LeFebvre 40:30
This is supposed to be a comedy didn’t laugh the entire time.
Mark Jason Murray 40:34
Yeah, like this. Yeah, this was not funny at all. And that’s not really that’s not the reality of, of what happened, you know, it wasn’t like, they went and saw a movie and really just had this, this grand idea, like, but the way that that, that they present that it, you know, is brilliant, you know, you see that light coming down. And you think like, you know, just like, I mean, the, the way those guys write things, and I’ve just, I’m always in awe of the work that they do. So, I mean, I couldn’t be more happy that they were the ones that wrote this, nobody could have done it the way that Scott and Larry did. But the reality is that Rudy, had already had plans to make films by 72. And also by 72, he already had, like, a couple dozen records out, he was putting records out like every three months. I mean, there was an avalanche of, of Rudy Ray Moore records, you know, Rudy was smart enough to go like, you know, it’s hot right now. So I’m just gonna, you know, we’re just gonna keep keep unloading on people. And, and, and so, in 72, he had an idea, you know, I want to get myself on on the screen. Not really, with any true idea of what that would be just thinking like, you know, I should be in a movie. I believe he may have gone to American International pictures at one point early on, and discussed it, they were pretty much the, I guess, you could say, the primary blaxploitation studio, they were doing all the jack Hill movies, and Pam Grier, and in, you know, Fred Williamson, and so all the, all the best stuff was coming out through AIP. But as with everything else that he’d ever done, nobody really supported him. And so he knew, again, that he had to pay me, he told me flat out, no one was going to put me on the screen, so I had to do it myself. And so he got the ball rolling. And actually, that would have started at the tail end of 1973, where he got the idea for for, you know, to make a film, didn’t know what it was going to be. And there’s some some key players in here that that, you know, are missing from the film and, and justifiably so because they just, even though parts of there, they are integral to the progression of things, you’re not going to introduce a character for, you know, three lines of dialogue, and then never see them again. But Rudy had a friend named Jeanne Marie. And there is a reference, we could say to Jeanne Marie in the film, where when Rudy introduces lady read, and they sing that song, you know, if I was a little bitty girl and had a lot of money, that song was actually sang by Rudy and Jeanne Marie on the eat out more often now. But again, that’s a great way to introduce lady read to the, you know, to the crowd and show that she’s going to do some, some raunchy stuff herself. And, and, you know, they kind of, in a way, she was one of the boys. But Jeanne, Maria and Rudy were friends for a long time, and she kind of worked as a secretary for him for many years. And she was really integral because she had met Jerry Jones. And so she introduced Rudy to Jerry Jones, saying, you know, my friend really wants to make a movie, your screenwriter, or you know, you’ve written plays and such and brings Jerry Jones into the fold. Now, the the way they meet Jerry in the movie a game is not is not accurate. But it you know, it’s I love that scene too. And, and I will say that, you know, Jerry Jones was a close friend of mine, and many of the people portrayed in the film Jimmy Lynch, Ben Taylor Are you know, are still close friends of mine unfortunately lost Jimmy last year.
Mark Jason Murray 44:32
But it when it comes to portrayals of the people I see the most of Jerry Jones in in that portrayal. You know, Jerry was very matter of fact, and serious, took his work serious, but not but not too serious. But, you know, when I see that it really makes me think like, you know, like, you know, there’s Jerry, you know, and And so it just it sort of went from Jerry had a, an acting school that he ran. So Jerry came in to write the script, Jerry was involved heavily in the casting, because he had that acting school where he brought a lot of people in. Jerry, also, as I said, brought in Durval, Martin, Jerry also knew Nick von Sternberg, who shot the movie, because they had worked together on a previous project. So he brings in, in Nick. So it ultimately, Jerry Jones may be the most integral figure in the creation of dolomite than anybody, you know, he really was the one who brought so many of those elements together. To do that, of course, Rudy had to be the one to finance it. And like they like like in the film, he was able to get an advance on his royalties and money that he already had. And he thought he was going to be able to make that movie for $70,000. It did run out of money, not necessarily the exact same way that it shows in dolomite as my name, I believe they had they completed the filming. But sort of as they hint in the film, there was no money to edit it, or do sound or any poster or anything like that. So they don’t really they don’t really show the struggle that Rudy had, and there’s so many things you got to cover in the film, you’re not going to have 40 minutes of Rudy struggling to do things, you know, it just did, you know, it would just be boring as hell. But in reality, it took Rudy 13 months, traveling the country doing his his material, you know, performing gigs, and such, and whatever money he was still making off of his records, which wasn’t as much as he was earlier in the 70s. Because, you know, his sales had had dropped off incrementally, you know, throughout the years, of course, you know, he floods his own market, but then you also, everybody else goes, I’m not going to go to jail, if I say the F word 1000 times on a record, so everybody follows suit, you know, and now not only his Rudy flooded his own market, but everybody else is doing is doing that, too. So, he ended up having to, basically, you know, he says, You know, I walked to the country to finance that, that movie, and he was able, he made a couple grand, send it back home, he added a little bit, they maybe shoot a couple scenes that they needed. And finally, after 13 months, I think the ultimate budget came out to twice that it was 140 grand, when he was finally able to complete it. And depending on Rudy’s mood, or what the conversation was, he would either be a champion to that low budget, or he would be embarrassed by it. So it just depended on you know, how, how that broke down? You know, yeah, if you look at 140 grand to make a movie, you know, the, the stuff that AIP was doing is probably 300,000 400,000, you know, for their low, their low end, you know, here you got somebody who’s doing something that’s like, a third third of that. You know, and, and, it’s, it’s a shabby, it’s a shabby movie. You know, no one knew what they were doing really, on the film. No one really had much, if any professional experience, you know, and it shows, but, you know, people like to say, you know, that it’s that it’s a bad movie, you know, always go back to when people would say that, you know, Edwards plan Nine from Outer Space is the worst movie ever made. You know, maybe they’re, maybe they technically suck, but they’re not. You know, there’s entertainment value there. You know, sometimes, and I’ve often commented that dolomite isn’t, you can laugh at and laugh with, because there’s a lot of things that just are absurd, or hokey, or maybe just don’t work.
Mark Jason Murray 49:10
You know, the, the martial arts is is choppy, there’s, you can see scenes where the, you know, the foot is six inches away from the face when they’re when they’re kicking, and, you know, but when I first saw dolomit, it was it was, I mean, obviously, I guess we could say it’s a life changing experience, because I spent the next 30 years trying to find out who this man was and everything that he had done in his life. But, you know, it was like a bomb went off. It was something that is is unexplainable. And, but I was just so intrigued. It was it was just cool. And it was weird. And and it was just kind of like, What in the hell is this? You know? Yeah. And so Prior to in the show this in the film, you know, Rudy does what, what they call for walling. And again, this was another one of my kind of bonehead moments when I was with Scott and Larry going over the script. I’m sitting there saying, like, he really knows what for Walling is like, why are we why, why are we telling this is like, well done, Mark, the audience doesn’t know, what for Walling is. So we’re going to have the theater owner explain this to Rudy. So the crowd under, you know, it’s like, you know, and, you know, the and that’s what he did, he showed it in Indianapolis. You know, they they show that we’re in he did play at Gordy’s lounge just like they show in the film. And it went over well, and then he showed it again, at the end of March. These were both in in March, March of 1975. And then, at the end of March, he showed it at another location, and then he took it back. He went back to Los Angeles. And he really only took it to two studios, he went to American International pictures, they turned it down. Rudy always would tell the story that supposedly the they had, you know, a black man that would watch the potential blaxploitation product? And he would say, yes, or no, you know, he was kind of like their gatekeeper of what was good and what wasn’t. And then that person turned it down. And according to Rudy, and who knows if this is just true, or, or if it’s just one of Rudy’s great stories, that after dolomite became a success, that they supposedly fired that guy at American International, I’m gonna say it probably more so, you know, one of those stories are really like to tell versus, you know, I think I joke in the book that who knows, maybe the guy should have late too many times to work or, or got fired on his own. And it wasn’t just because dolomite became successful. But Rudy always liked to tell great stories. But yeah, the second place that they took it to was dimension pictures, you know, who, who released it? nationally. And, and, and I will say that the, sometimes if, and if they go back, and we sort of compare, and there are comparisons that we can make with dolomite as my name and it would, not just by the screenwriters, but also the some, some critics had said, you know, this is kind of like it was part two, because they have similarities in their, in their careers where nobody would, you know, nobody supported them, but just through like, you know, sheer force of will, they were able to complete, you know, whatever it is that they were trying to do. And, you know, while the ending of Ed Wood is this, you know, triumphant
Mark Jason Murray 52:42
premiere of plan Nine from Outer Space, and everyone’s giving him a standing ovation. And it’s like, this amazing bang, guy, that’s not something that ever happened in that film. To me, that’s, that’s sort of like Ed woods. Dream, you know, he’s, he’s imagining, like, my movie is going to premiere and everybody’s gonna cheer and it’s going to be like, the greatest thing ever. But for dolomite is my name, when they show that premiere at the end of the movie that’s accurate. That was at the woods theater, there were people lined up around the block for hours. And as they say, like, you hear the theater manager say something like, you know, we’re going to show another showing it too. And, and they kept that thing open for, like three or four showings more than what, what was happening. And I remember Jerry Jones telling me about that night, because it sort of similar to how they’re driving it. Holy shit, like looked at all the people out here. The theater owner had called Rudy in the hotel room, and was like, there’s all kinds of people out here, you know, then they want you, you guys should come down. And so he looks at Jerry and says, you know, like, they they want us to go and Jerry’s like, let’s go, man, let’s go down there. And when Jerry got out of the car, I’m specifically remember him telling me, there were so many people there and there was so much energy, that he felt like he just floated out the car, you know, just, like floated out of the car into the theater. And, you know, I mean, imagine, you know, it’s kind of emotional. If you think about it, everything that Rudy went through, just to get that movie on the screen. And then to have an experience like that, where, where, I mean, people were, according to a lady read, I think there was, you know, they were circling the block three or four times people waiting for that, for that movie to play. And Rudy did just what is shown in dolomite is my name, he hung outside, he entertained people. He told me that he walked through that line and shook everybody’s hand, saying thank you for coming to see my movie.
Dan LeFebvre 54:54
I mean, that’s a testament to the kind of person that he is today. I mean, because you think about it. A lot of stars today, you know, go in their movies, they’re not out, you know, shaking everybody’s hand and all that kind of stuff outside the theater, that’s for sure.
Mark Jason Murray 55:10
Some of it, you know, of course, it’s genuine appreciation. I mean, imagine if you had pretty much everything in your life riding on something, you know, if this movie failed, Rudy was done, you know, who knows if he would have ever recovered financially from the CEO, he lost his own investment, like they show in the movie, he would have, you know, he would have been in debt to the record company, for future royalties. So he bet everything on this. And, you know, and he always was a showman. You know, this is a guy who, who spent his life you know, performing and the Chitlin Circuit, I believe there was a part in the movie that they had cut out. I’d love to see that footage someday, if if they ever make it available, but I think there’s a scene where they go, and they actually are walking through like a cow pasture. You know, Rudy and Lady read. For dolomite is my name, they’re walking through a cow pasture to perform in a bar. And they had performed in the barn. Anywhere that they could have a performance was where, where they would go. And, you know, that’s really all Rudy ever knew, was, you know, pounding the pavement. That’s how he made his records of success. You know, it wasn’t just that he, he found success. You know, with eat out more often in Los Angeles, he drove around the country. And you know, where you kind of see him in, in dolomite is my name where he’s selling records out of his trunk. You know, that was, that was Rudy’s reality, he drove all over the country. And he would oftentimes, without even a gig booked, he would show up in town, book himself a gig. You know, he would find people he would pass out records, he would say, you know, he may be late. If we put a timeline on it, let’s say, he shows up in a town on a Monday. He goes, who knows, he goes to the truckstop, he goes where, you know, into the the African American section of town, and he would find like pimps and hookers and people that he the thought were like fun loving looking people. He’d give them record saying, you know, go play this, share with your friends. And by the way, Friday night, you know, I’ll be performing at such and such a club. And so the he just built word of mouth, constantly, everywhere he went, and it’s, you’re not seeing eat out more often being advertised to any great degree in magazines, or it’s not getting played on the record on the radio. I mean, there’s almost nothing out there. That’s that’s propelling this record forward. Other than Rudy, you know, and for that for, for Etown. More often to place on, they had a soul charts at the time in Billboard magazine. It broke the top 50 in the soul charts. I you know, there was I believe it was a comedy chart at the time, but because Rudy stuff was so out there. You know, he wasn’t appearing in the same categories, the Bill Cosby. So they were putting him in the soul charts. And when he did his his next album, which was called this belongs to me, that even got into the charts. So he was the first what he calls soul comic to have two albums at the same time charting on the soul album charts. So it’s just I mean, I, the more I learned about him, I mean, how can you not admire his tenacity in his drive? I mean, this guy was just, I mean, his career was his entire life. You know? It was it meant everything to him. And it’s unfortunate that he never was able to bask in his own glory, so to speak, you know, he never he never got rich. You know, there’s this, this one of those similar stories, as so many artists have had where, you know, people end up making all the money off of you, you know, Rudy, Rudy was so busy putting out material that he wasn’t necessarily paying attention to the business side of things, you know, I’m, without a doubt, I know that, that he was probably owed quite a bit more than he received. You know, and, in my eyes, he should have been living in a mansion, you know, up in the Hollywood Hills, but you know, you had a guy who, who was just kind of like living in an assisted living retirement place, you know, close to the end of his life and, and
Mark Jason Murray 59:51
the fact you know, it was very kind of hurtful to him. And when you get used to you start to more mortality. sits in, you start to get to the, you know, the twilight years of your life, and you’re reflecting on things and, and, you know, there, it’s kind of like with the budget of dolomite. You know, Rudy was proud to always have been, you know, pounding the pavement and making everything that happened in his life happened, basically, you know, through his own inertia. But there’s a sadness to that too. Like, you know, How hard have I worked and misses all that I’ve gotten out of it? Or, or at this point, you know, like, like, where is the money, like, I still have to go out and work to survive, you know, and, and you have a guy who’s still basically doing the same thing, you know, in the early 2000s, as he was doing it 70s playing a small club, and, and, you know, but that’s what Rudy was, you know, he wasn’t an arena performer. You know, and so, you know, it’s sad in some ways, but it’s also, you know, it’s it, there’s a brilliance to him and what he did, and, and I think it’s amazing that it’s that from my own latitude, you know, that I was able to document that and it’s able to be presented in this film. You know, the, that’s people like that. That’s a dying breed. You know, that’s that stuff does not happen anymore. And same thing with Jimmy Lynch, you know, and Jimmy Lynch is actually probably the biggest. What’s the word I want to use here? I guess you could say having Jimmy Lynch in the movie is maybe the biggest exaggeration that they use in in dolomite is my name. And when I say that is he absolutely deserved his character to be represented in that film. But the reality was that Jimmy was never there. During the making of dolomite. He actually shows up for like a cameo in the original dolomit and gets a name drop. Because Jimmy was only in town for like, one day, we’re filming. And each shows up and did that, because Jimmy himself was a singer, and a comedian and an entertainer. And he was on tour at that time, when Dola Matt was being filmed. So he just happened to be coming into town. When they were shooting, it was able to make a cameo. But Jimmy was instrumental in Rudy’s entire career. I mean, not only the fact that, that when they met, you know, he had already done you know, a mother, or on a record that inspired Rudy to take it further. But Jimmy was always there to help Rudy with his material, help him with all of his films. Jimmy was a set designer he can carpenter, he could do everything he made his own clothes. So when you the following movies like human tornado PDB, Tron disco Godfather, and even when Rudy did is dolomite explosion film, you know, Jimmy was a big part of all of that. And when you when you got those two together, and if you if you add Cliff Rockmore, who was the director of human, human tornado, and Petey wheat straw, and also worked on disco Godfather, like the three of them, when they’re all together, in their own ways, I think we’re able to make magic. So it’s great to have Jimmy represented in the film, although he wasn’t there at the timeframe that the film takes place. But you have things like, and this is another say poetic license that they used in dolomite is my name, where they show the bed shaking scene where the ceiling falls down and everything that actually was from the second movie, The Human tornado, and in some ways people criticized them for including this. And I agree with with Scott and Larry of how could they not have included that, that that is probably the most iconic and hilarious scene out of any one of Rudy’s movies. You know, how could you not include that, and there’s no way that we’re going to be able to make a movie where they show every one of these movies being made, you know, it’d be a six hour film, and it would be the same story of, I don’t have any money and how are we going to make this happen? And, you know, I mean, that’s every time Rudy had a new project, it was it was like starting over from scratch, you know, but to include that it had to be there and that that is one of the funniest scenes in the film, and I particularly loved the way that they present it when you kind of have
Mark Jason Murray 1:04:34
the Durva Mark characters currently, you know, looking around like with the beds, kind of the rooms kind of falling apart. It’s just like, What the hell’s going on in here, you know, and you know, they just did a brilliant job on but that was actually the whole bed shaking and all that stuff. That was all Jimmy’s creation. He was the one who, who put the bed on casters and cut out the ceiling and put it on wires and they got the the flash power We’re in. And so that whole setup from the human tornado was, was basically like Jimmy’s creation, you know, so, so he had to be in there. So I’m really glad that he was a part of that. And, you know, I will say one of the highlights of my life was being able to sit there privately with, with Ben Taylor, and Jamie Lynch, we saw another advanced screening of the movie at Netflix before the premiere, and also having them at the premiere with us, you know, they they got their due, and they deserved it as well.
Dan LeFebvre 1:05:33
At the very end of the movie, there’s some text that says dolomite that the movie dolomiten was one of the biggest hits of the year. And then in the early 1980s, early rappers universally acclaimed Rudy as the godfather of rap. So can you give us an overview of Rudy’s career kind of after the timeline of the film and some of the impact that he had?
Mark Jason Murray 1:05:53
Yeah, and it’s actually a really interesting, and it was, in some ways, easy. And this was, it book was probably the most difficult thing I’ll ever do in my life. But it was easy to kind of compartmentalize his life because it seemed like everything kind of happened in a decade increments, you know, so, so, like 70s was was comedy, but primarily, like, the films. So he did all of his films. And then he had done disco Godfather in 1979. And it was kind of an attempt to make a PG film. Clean up Rudy a little bit, it’s a message movie, there’s a there’s, you know, he’s, he’s, he’s a disco DJ, you know, disco is, is the big thing at the time. And there’s also a PCP problem locally. So Rudy as the disco Godfather, you know, goes out and trying to put an end to the angel dust. It’s infiltrating the area. Unfortunately, the for that movie, I mean, it is the weakest of Rudy’s movies. It’s got some pretty interesting items in it, but it’s sort of this mishmash of horror elements in disco music and, and a bunch of stuff that that now we can look back at it and say, you know, this movie is out of its mind. But at the time, people were going like this, you know, the hell’s really doing wearing like a disco outfit. And, you know, there was a little history to in, I think it was July of 79, there was this big thing that they had at Comiskey Park with this DJ named Steve Dahl, who had basically made it his life’s mission to destroy disco music. So they had this event at Kaminski park where people could bring disco records. And for like, I think it was 98 cents, they could get into the baseball game, which was like the call letters of the radio station you worked for. And so during during the break between it was a doubleheader. So in between the two games, they took this giant bin of all these people’s disco records out into centerfield and exploded them. And the place erupted in like in a total riot. So it became this huge thing. They call it a Disco Demolition night. And, and although you can’t necessarily credit that specific event for like the death of disco, but I mean, you had like 30,000 people that were just like, we hate disco, and we’re here to destroy it. They weren’t there to watch a baseball game. They were there out of their hatred for for disco music. And if you look at the, like the Billboard charts, it was like, just before that happened, pretty much everything in the top 10 was a disco song. And within like a week or two of that there was like no disco on the charts. So I mean, you can draw your conclusions that seems like that was that might have been like the moment where it just kind of like that was kind of a definitive moment where disco kind of was on its way out. But Rudy’s movie doesn’t come out until like September. So not only are you not Rudy Ray Moore, you’re also doing a theme that is now you know, no one is interested in. So his movie was outdated before it even came out. He credited that movie, as you know, the one that ruined his film career. And I don’t know if I could say specifically that that destroyed his film career. I mean, it definitely hurt his film career. But, you know, 1980 comes along Reaganomics. So musics dramatically changing. You know, the, the cultural climate is is like, almost night and day from the 70s. Where would Rudy have been? You know, there there really wasn’t anywhere for him to go all his material was dated, his comedy materials dated, his films were dated place the majority of the places that his films had been playing throughout the years, like the drive ins are drying up, you know, you were gonna go down your local multiplex and see any movies, movies. You know, the box office blockbusters are starting to happen, you know, drive ins are being tore down. So he had really nothing, yet no outlet for his, his material. So he almost like became irrelevant. Overnight, when the 80s hit. It was a really, really tough part of his life.
Mark Jason Murray 1:10:40
He did still have his comedy material to go back on. And he did continue to tour as much as he could and perform. You know, he’s a road performer, he, he always was on the road. So at least he had that to, to continue, you know, you think about some of the some of the black action stars of the 70s. You know, when those movies dried up, they have another career to fall back on. You know, at least Rudy had comedy, and film. So he there was he had a little bit of, of a variation of what he could do. But he also had, at the end of shooting disco Godfather, he shot a small live film in a live performance film. And it took them a couple of years to get that thing completed. I think it was 82. And it finally was able to be shown. But again, he was back to back to square one driving around the country with a film print in the back of his car, trying to get that movie shown. You know, and he was he was he was down and out. By the mid 80s. We’ll say like 86, you know, my timeline might be off by a year or two. People start to remember, Rudy, and a lot of this is with hip hop and rap and people starting to sample things and records. And you have all these young artists who, who actually grew up on Rudy’s albums, whether they were supposed to or not, a lot of them were sneaking, sneaking listens to them, and their parents weren’t around. But, you know, a lot of these these artists don’t really recall, Rudy’s material, and you just really made an impression on them. Even even Steve Harvey had noted that he, he does these things, because he has a talk show and he does these little like things where he talks to the crowd beforehand and, and before the show starts, and they would put him on his website and stuff. And there was one that he did, where he talked about Rudy Ray Moore. And when he was a young boy, his mother had bought him a a tape recorder. You know, there’s little single little handle, you press play and record at the same time, and the little door flips open. So he he for fun. The first thing he did on there was he recited I think he was said he was like 10 years old, he recites the st. Rudy Ray Moore’s version of signifying monkey into the recorder. And his mother somehow plays it and hears it, and you know, oh, my God, you know, freaks out on him. And so, something like the story is, you know, Dad’s I can Wow, punish him, but his dad actually took Steve down to the barbershop and was like, Yo, you gotta hear money, you gotta hear my son. Do you know Rudy Ray Moore signify a monkey, you know, like, and so. So you had this, this generation that, that, you know, it’s kind of like, you know, when I was young, like sneaking, sneaking a peek at dad’s Playboy magazines, you know, we’ve all had those kiddos kind of like, it’s just kind of like a rite of passage, you know, so their thing was looking at Rudy Ray Moore’s record albums and go, you know, here’s this bunch of girls with titties out, you know, like, and, and what is this crazy stuff. So, obviously, that has an impression on them. And so these these groups start, start sampling these things. And it was primarily a two Live Crew. And Rudy had nothing, he said he had nothing going on, and struggling to survive. And so to live true, starts to sample in all these other groups starts to sample. And at first, it was just people just were liberally pulling from these old comedy albums, to have true most of their samples all came from actually laugh records, because they were sampling the one two page scale and Leroy early Richard Pryor, all that stuff had been out on laugh records, and the only other artists that even like man 10 Morley, and then they’re also sampling Rudy stuff. And so since that sampling was kind of new people were just doing whatever they wanted. And then after the fact, when they found out that people were sampling then you Rudy and whoever was working with him at the time would kind of go back and be like, hey, you know, you’ve sampled our, our album, you know, and so they would give Rudy a little bit of money. And, and he just started to, like, he became like the main guy to sample. I think, I think the top three people that are sampled are, I don’t know what the order would be, but it’s Rudy, James Brown, and Parliament Funkadelic, you know, anything like George Clinton related, you know, you got to think about
Mark Jason Murray 1:15:33
like, Dr. Dre is the Tronic album, which is like the highest selling most regarded hip hop rap album of all time. That thing is primarily just a bunch of Parliament samples. It Rudy appears on there. And so they just all started to give him that credit. And the the idea that he’s kind of this Godfather, some of that is, is propelled by his own ego. You know, but there, there is some truth to it. And I and I discussed this at length in the book, because I want you know, I tried to give everything that he’s done some cultural and contextual, you know, places so that it’s valid, you know, I’m not just saying Rudy helped originate rap, you know, I’m, I’m proving it in my writing. But the idea that he, he was doing these raps, if we could call them raps, they rhyming, and he’s got music in the background, although it’s not like it’s not hip hop beats or anything like that. It’s sort of like this funky freeform jazz kind of stuff that’s going on back there wasn’t recorded, specifically to rhythmically accompany Rudy’s verbalizations that were just background music. But it gives us idea that music and rhyming and all of the stuff is coming, coming together. And, and everybody just took it and went in and ran with it. And it almost became like, you know, if you want credibility in your career, you either need to name drop dolomite, or reference, you know, one of his his comedy albums, and he just became like, the go to guy. And you not only were people sampling him, but he would start to make appearances on albums by two Live Crew, Dr. Dre is out when Snoop Dogg in videos. You know, he did the Big Daddy Kane vs. dolomite song. And, you know, the thing that I love about that song is that, you know, you got Big Daddy Kane and dolomite kind of rap battling against each other. And at the end, you have big dedicated, like, you know, screw mount, you know, and that’s like, their way of giving him props, like, you’re not going to win if you go up against dolomite, like, he’s dolomite, you know, so they, they really embraced him. And and, you know, beautifully that was able to resurrect his his career, and, and pretty much solely the resurrection of his career at that time. Like I said, he had nothing going on. And a lot of people have forgotten about him, you get to the point where it’s like, I guess still alive, you know, like, he’s not dead. And so he was able to, to just just work off that momentum, and keep that rolling, you know, throughout the 90s. And that’s, that’s essentially what, what sustained him because album sales are low, you know, he’s not, he’s not making any money off of album sales anymore. In early 1980, or 81 ish, Kent records, I believe that they completely gone out of business. And they, they returned all of Rudy’s masters to him. So he owned all of his own material, but there was no real market to reissue those, you know, and ultimately, Rudy’s entire career is kind of a niche of a niche. And in the 80s, and 90s, that niche didn’t even exist anymore. So what where does he go, you know,
Dan LeFebvre 1:19:12
times have changed. And it sounds like not only not only that, but the the way that just the music industry is be marketed or, you know, comedy or mood, like, all that change, too. So his way of marketing and it’s not the same anymore.
Mark Jason Murray 1:19:30
Well, and you got to think of it too, like he kind of pioneered things that the rapper’s later, later, you know, took to and I think that’s the, the it’s that street hustle. You know, Rudy sold his records out of the back of his truck. He may have been the first artists to ever do that. You know, I’m certainly not familiar with anybody else who’s driving around the country. You know, listen to my filthy record. I got a I got a copy here in the trunk if you want to buy it. You know, nowadays if somebody came Up to you, you’d think they were gonna kidnap you or something like that, like, you want to buy some speakers. You know, I remember those things when I was a kid. No. But, you know, that’s how NWA and Eazy E got started selling records out of the back of their trunk. You know, so, I, the thing that that I think that all of those artists really identified with is just that hustle. You know, you gotta hustle to make it happen. You know, and, and when, when they achieved their success, you know, they were very gracious to Rudy. You know, even easy. He has Rudy on a, on an intro to a song. And Eric B and Rakim have Rudy doing videos. And so they just started to, to bring him along for things and Rudy was really appreciative.
Dan LeFebvre 1:20:48
Well, thank you so much for coming on to chat about dolomite is my name. Your book is called thank you for letting me be myself the authorized biography of Rudy Ray Moore, aka dollar night. I’ll include links to that in the show notes for this episode. So anyone listening can learn more about the true story. But before I let you go, can you give us a little teaser of your book, maybe a favorite story about the real Rudy Ray Moore that didn’t make its way into the movie? Well,
Mark Jason Murray 1:21:11
I think those are, those are the personal stories. Obviously, Rudy was one of a kind, you know, it’s everybody that knew him. There, there’s an affection for him. I mean, he’s just, he is truly one of a kind. One of the things that I always thought was hilarious about him, as he always had nicknames, people. And it was just whatever it was, it was either his way of remembering or whatnot. But he, my first introduction to him was I was doing a little fanzine called shocking images, where it was horror movies and other stuff. And so when I contacted him to do an interview for that, I wanted to include him in in every issue that I was doing. And so whenever I would call you, Rudy, it’s marking a mark from images that are shocking. You know, and so, for so for, for almost forever. That’s, that’s who I was. So he had like a nickname for everybody. And he always had weird hours, he seemed like he would be up all night long. And there were times when he would call me at two, three o’clock in the morning. And he would sometimes pretend in these different voices, like one time he was pretending to be like, Chinese or something really terrible. attempt at a Chinese accent, AI. You know, like this hammer thing? And it’s like, really? What the hell are you doing? You any we upset? Like, how’d you know? It was me? You know, as like, like, the road like, come on Rudy, like, you know, and, and one of the things that I that I really love about the the nostalgia that people feel about Rudy is, anytime someone that new view, is telling the story about him. They always have their own kind of impersonation of him, because he had this this just one of a kind, deep, baritone, slow voice that was just his, and everyone always, like you can’t help it like, like, somehow Rudy channels through you. When you’re saying something that he had said it, you know, it’s, I think, I think it’s just kind of beautiful that that happens every time. And when people start to remember him or things that they’ve said to him.
Dan LeFebvre 1:23:27
Yeah, well, maybe that lends to why he influenced so many other creatives, they just wanted to mimic him and be like him.
Mark Jason Murray 1:23:35
Yeah, I’ve always said that, that Rudy had the it factor. Although he was the only one that knew he had it. That’s great. You know,
Dan LeFebvre 1:23:49
I thank you again, so much for your time. I really appreciate it.
Mark Jason Murray 1:23:52
Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it